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Community meeting Tuesday night to help stop violence in Milwaukee

Posted at 6:34 AM, May 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-24 18:45:22-04

MILWAUKEE — Many people are calling on the city of Milwaukee to do more when it comes to ending senseless gun violence.

And Tuesday night, steps could be taken toward that goal.

We are looking ahead to a meeting organized by the city's Office of Violence Prevention, which has been under the microscope lately.

There certainly has been an increased focus on the Office of Violence Prevention, given what we've seen unfold across the city in recent weeks. But OVP leaders say they can't do it alone. That's why they want you at a community meeting Tuesday night. The goal, they say, is to galvanize the city and create an ecosystem of resources to stop gun violence.

Milwaukee's Office of Violence Prevention launched 14 years ago as a way to cut down on shootings and save lives. Its annual budget is $3.7 million, but that's before federal COVID relief money came into play. It's getting $8.4 million from the state and another $3 million from the city's allocation over 5 years.

Alderman Bob Bauman is among those who've publicly questioned what Milwaukee's Office of Violence Prevention is doing to curb gun violence. In fact, he thinks the violence has gotten so out of hand that he tells people to avoid parts of his own downtown district on weekend nights in spring and summer.

"I honestly don't know what they're doing, have done," Bauman said last week. "We just allocated a whole bunch of money to them out of the American Rescue Plan funds. You have to ask them what they're doing because I frankly don't know what they're doing."

We spoke to the Director of the Office of Violence Prevention, Arnitta Holliman, in late April, after a particularly violent weekend in the city. She told us the Office of Violence Prevention uses a public health approach to prevent violence by being in the neighborhoods that are seeing the most shootings in the city.

"We cannot be at every place at the same time. We cannot fund everything in the community," Holliman said then.

This discussion continues Tuesday night. The meeting is set for 5:30 p.m. at the Zilber School of Public Health on 10th Street.

If you're able to, you're asked to sign in for the meeting in advance on Eventbrite to help speed up the entry process [click here].

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